Summer Life is Good

Ah, summer life is good – and full! Right now, we are anxiously awaiting the birth of our new niece, Alise, so I’ve been holding up this blog post all day, hoping for a new baby photo for you. Alas, Alise is in no hurry to get here but we’re hoping (for Mama Cheriss’s sake) she arrives soon. (Update: Alise arrived today at 2:37 p.m. I’ll post a photo when I get one. My iPhone ones aren’t doing her justice in the slightest!). We’ve been spending a lot of time with the kiddos, at parks, at play dates and generally trying to balance and juggle work and family like all parents do. On the work front, I always think it’s going to slow down and it never seems to. We just shot a live Soap Crafting Club video that is up on Spreecast if you want to peek at what our Soap Crafting Club members get every month. And of course, the Handmade Beauty Box is fully underway with plans to ship the first box in January.
Jamisen has been enjoying a mixture of camps and meeting new people and learning new things this summer. He was asked at summer camp who were the oldest people he knew. He said his Mommy and Daddy. He then was asked how old we are. We are apparently seven years old. I had forgotten how ‘old’ people our age look to little kids!
Lily remains the most charming child of all time. She, among the ENTIRE family (well, fine Grandpa Faiola escaped it too) did not come down with strep throat this week. And this strep throat is so powerful that it got one of my employees sick that only sat across a table from me! Clearly, she is not only blessed with a charming disposition but an immune system that doesn’t stop. Must be all the kale juice! Jamisen loves the bribe frozen yogurt I give him in the morning and the evening to get him to take his antibiotics. He thinks he’s winning for sure.
Lily is fully walking now and into **everything**. She can open sliding glass doors which makes turning your back on her just a wee bit unsafe because she loves to sneak outdoors. She is skipping sign language and just moving right to talking. Every so often, she’ll just bust out with a garbled but identifiable phrase when I’m trying to sign it to her and I’ll be like, “Okay, so that’s why you’re not signing. You’re just going to talk.”
Our garden is producing bounty of epic proportions. The kale is over Jamisen’s head. It’s such a blessing – and an insane amount of produce to eat. We’ve been enjoying sharing it and are working on winning popularity contests with our neighbors. I’m pretty sure we’re not winning any with their kids (“Ugh. More kale from the neighbors?!”) . Jamisen helps me harvest the kale daily and is thrilled to do it since that means he gets to use scissors, typically an off-limits tool.
We don’t just have kale; we’re an equal opportunity greens family. We have spinach, bok choy and chard too. That’s what Jamisen is cutting in the above photo, chard. The broccoli sadly, was attacked by rabbits and never recovered but the rest of the garden (blueberries, corn, beets, potatoes, carrots, parsley, basil, strawberries, tomatoes, squash, green beans, blackberries, raspberries) is doing swimmingly. It’s a lot of work (in fact, I totally threw out my back pruning tomatoes last week) but completely worth it. I love being able to walk outside and get all the fixings for a hearty tomato, beet and kale salad.
The kids really are a delight. Every day they make me laugh in some new way and I am so thankful to have two healthy children. Despite the idyllic photo above however, Jamisen continues to challenge our boundaries in new and exciting ways daily. He usually spends some of his evenings in a time out with good behavior breaks in between. To his credit, he is loving and kind much of the time but for some reason, his little sister is bringing out his devil horns. We have started changing our messaging; talking about him as a protector for his sister and our family as a tribe/pack/unit. On the plus side, Jamisen loves to hug his sister (and really, hug, not just strangle-hug), is fiercely protective of her from his friends and asks where she is when she’s gone to sleep. There is hope yet!
Overall, life is extremely blessed, extremely full and feels like it’s moving faster every day. I am so thankful for excuses to slow down – like reading books, playing blocks and putting together puzzles – and never take those moments for granted. Have a great weekend everyone! I’ll post a baby picture as soon as there is one. =)
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  1. KeMira says

    What a pleasant and inspiring blog post! I am smiling now and remembering back to when my kids were those ages, (they are now 13 and 17) and remembering all the great times. Ive been following the blog for a couple years now and its been a pleasure to read the stories and see the children blossom into the adorable littles ones they are today. Thank you Ann Marie for your continued inspiration and I look forward to many more blog posts in the future. Blessings! :)

  2. says

    Jamisen’s looking a bit like Prince Harry, and seems to have the same sort of devilish attitude too. 😉 Lily is absolutely adorable and it seems like only yesterday that you were pregnant with her, how time flies.

    Your garden is amazing! Your neighbours are lucky people to get to partake in all that bounty.

  3. laurie coultrip says

    Thank you for risking to share so much with us AnneMarie. You shower the world with light from your family and hard won work ethic. You are really an inspiration among ambitious , loving creator/entrepreneurs. I am so blessed to be part of your generation .
    I can hardly wait for Lily to start talking to Jamison …all that reading, all that wonderful, thoughtful input from all of your family…it will really show when the kids chatter with each other…
    laurie in st louis

  4. Linda Bond says

    Your children are beautiful! They are growing up so fast. I cannot believe how grown up Jamisen looks….not a toddler anymore, but an adorable little boy. And, well Lily, much more cuteness to come. Anne Marie, you are amazing.

    • says

      Right?! Isn’t it incredible? He really does look like a mini man. It has been interesting to watch the transformation via photos since so much of it is documented here =) I feel so blessed to have an extremely supportive wonderful extended family to make everything work so much better in our busy, happy household =)))

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